It should raise OU’s toughness quotient overnight, for even as Bell would be expected to be a drop-back passer, he’s still a battering ram and would be called upon in that role, too.
In this new reality, Sterling Shepard no longer provides receiving depth, but he takes over in the slot because now you’re playing your best players, and that means he plays.
It likely means Kenny Stills plays better, too, because now he’s out wide where he’s always been and he’s been challenged, a true freshman taking his slot position from him.
It means finding a consistent role for Trey Millard, because he’s been saying Millard’s one of the best players on the team forever and it’s time Stoops lives up to his rhetoric. That makes OU tougher still, and more balanced.
Now you’re not throwing it 50 times a game anymore. Now you’re emphasizing the running game more. Now you can find a tailback rotation that makes sense, because what you’ve done thus far hasn’t.
This can be done.
It’s an alternate reality.
It’s a reality that might bring Josh Heupel back downstairs, because he probably needs to be there for his new quarterback. It might mean Jay Norvel heads upstairs and calls the plays. It makes sense. Heupel and the fullback position have long been at odds, and his unwillingness to play fast this season remains a mystery.
The thing about this alternate reality?
It might not work.
Or some of it might not work.
Jones may need to be benched, but pushing pace may be too much for Bell. Or Jones may remain the best option, because the pace needs to be pushed.
It’s impossible to know.
The only clear thing is Bob Stoops can do whatever he wants. He can play Jones or not play him. He can insist on a running-back rotation that makes sense or not. He can choose toughness and balance or not. He can keep Heupel as his play-caller or not.